In Praise of MMM: Motionlessness/No Thought

If there’s one signature exercise amongst the Illuminates of Thanateros it’s Motionlessness/No Thought – MNT. In itself it’s unassuming and dull yet difficult and That Chore Which Must Be Done if you’re a Novice. It lurks among the Mind Control exercises of the Illuminates of Thanateros Novice training program, the ‘studentship syllabus,’ called Liber MMM, like the black sheep at the wedding reception.

Where did it come from? In the seminal chaos magic book Liber Null, Peter J. Carroll adapted the Yoga exercises of Aleister Crowley’s Book 4: Mysticism (part 1) for his adaptation within Liber MMM. This in turn was appropriated from The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

More than anything else, MNT forges and storm-proofs the magician. When one of those ‘there’s something out there and it’s in here!’ moments occurs, if you’re going to look a god in its one massive bloodshot eye without shitting yourself, your Proper Prior Preparation and Practice of MNT helps you stand as The Magician In The Moment. When synchronicities turn your life into a shitstorm, you need the inner composure that meditation offers.

And all this starts from just sitting still.

Motionlessness is about not shifting weight, not scratching those inevitable little itches, and so forth. It’s not about torso movements when you breathe or tics or involuntary eye movements or blinking (if those bother you, shut your eyes). Pick a posture and stick to it. Since you don’t want to be shifting for comfort, pick a posture that’s comfortable in the first place. I did know someone who started off by doing his MNT in the Dragon Posture, but he doesn’t recommend it. Don’t try to be hardcore: leave your ego outside the Temple door.

If you gaze at a random spot on the wall you’ll very soon notice a slight tunnel vision. This is you entering a very light trance. Relax into it and your breathing will slow, swallowing and blinking are inhibited and the itches will become ignorable.

Breathing: pranayama. There’s a simple technique. In — out. And so forth. Fancy breathing techniques can wait, unless you already have mastery of them.

No-Thought is an unceasing business. Begin by just watching thoughts arise and pass away. Do nothing about them. When you catch yourself fixating on a thought, just drop it.

As you become aware of ‘space’ as it were in your consciousness where no thoughts are, as thoughts arise then deliberately ignore them and attend instead to that empty space. From time to time you get some blessed peace, when there are no thoughts to ignore. You’ll probably notice this moment of peace only when it’s over.

It’s not so much about that moment as the abilities, manifested over time, to drop easily into inhibitory trance states, to close down unhelpful streams of thought while under pressure and to concentrate on what is currently important. The concentration you’re looking for is not the fierce fixed frown and furious glare; it’s the relaxed absorption of a child at play. You are ‘in neutral,’ as it were. From this state you will learn to put yourself in gear by paying attention to something and there the magic starts.

Start with about 15 minutes and after a few days of practice add five minutes, and so forth until you’ve got 30 minutes’ practice time. It is totally worth it. This is why to this day the Illuminates of Thanateros still champion this practice and require our Novices to practice it daily.

Enochian Aethyrs in the Temple

In Liber Null and Psychonaut is the ‘Mass of Chaos B’ and in its invocation of Baphomet it is asserted that (S)he lives in the First and Highest Aethyr, which is LIL. This gave me the idea to share a technique that our coven developed and refined over 5 years with which to explore the Enochian Aethyrs with a temple gathering.

Some time ago I set myself the task of learning of by heart the Call of the 30 Aethyrs. This took me a number of weeks as I have a memory like a sieve. I then set about constructing a complete Enochian ritual with which to accomplish my mission. My first attempts at opening the Aethyrs and exploring them were of mixed success. It felt that I managed to open the doors a little bit and peek-in. Part of the problem is my lack of clairvoyance. However, there was some success; I did get some good visions and I began to have some kind of a map forming in my mind.

To delve deeper I learned the Call in English and would then say the Key first in English and then in Enochian. This did actually open a whole new dimension to this work as getting to know what the Call says puts a great deal of context into this magic and helps set the tone. It is well known that the Call has a very apocalyptic feel to it and within it there are layers of meaning and a complex dialogue between several entities.

My second mission into the Aethyrs did bring back more information. There can be quite a dogmatic perspective on what you are supposed to experience in each Aethyr and magicians of a particular school can get quite irritated if your experience does not accurately tally with that found in The Vision and the Voice. My view on this is that you are really exploring your own arcana and not that of Therion. I found a certain commonality but a huge and interesting divergence. My most stunning and for me interesting departure was finding St Peter in the Abyss and not Choronzon as the Guardian.

By far my greatest success with working the Aethyrs has always been within a temple setting with other magicians. Our coven had spectacular success opening the Aires. Our first attempt culminated in us exploring an extremely vivid cyclopean underwater city complete with buildings and a temple at its centre. Another time we explored Spare’s ‘atavistic resurgence’ via the Enochian Aethyrs and travelled down the evolutionary ladder with the aim of reaching an all embracing simplicity or a primal ancestor. We saw some hooded figures unveiling themselves in a cave-chamber deep underground to reveal what I would describe as caricatures of ourselves: I woke up with these words in Enochian the next morning and I had to look them up in my dictionary: ‘behold the face of your God’!

The method that I came to call ‘spontaneous pathworking’ is really very simple and is as follows:

After creating a sacred space using preferably an Enochian Watchtowers ritual and some cleansing of the participants and a strong invocation, the Call of the 30 Aethyrs is intoned in English and then in Enochian.

At a temple gathering I truncated the ritual a bit as I was a bit nervous about presenting it but it worked perfectly well. I used my strong Enochian Circle ritual and my Enochian ‘Bornless Ritual.’ I made sure to include a cleansing ceremony which ‘Dr Chaos’ from our coven accomplished by using a rattle to clear the aura of each participant in turn.

I placed my rather large obsidian ball on the altar with us forming a circle around it and kept it veiled until everyone was ‘cleansed’ and waiting with a little bit of anticipation and curiosity.

I explained to everyone the method: I would intone the key and then we would pass round a narrative with a squeeze of the hand to the person to one’s left: simple. I would start with for example: ‘I see an entrance to a cave in front of us, we enter and we can now see torch-lit steps leading steeply downwards in a spiral’ etc. When done I would then squeeze the hand of the person to my left and they would continue and quite often a very rich narrative would unfold with several complete circuits round all of the participants.

The result was really very good! I think that we came up with a vision of LIL: ‘The First and Highest’ Aethyr which was rich and vibrant and could easily rival anything within The Vision and the Voice. I could tell that some people were much more clairvoyant than others and could sense a rising and falling of quality which was fine as long as the narrative kept on being passed round. When we finally opened our eyes I was pleased and proud to see that people had a similar expression on their faces as if they had just got off a rollercoaster.

Frater Ananael 252

 

Tales of Magic by Dave Lee (3rd instalment)

TALES OF MAGIC 5: Two magical currents?

I picked up a copy of Liber Null at a secondhand bookshop on Woodhouse Lane opposite the University. It had a white cover and was numbered 23/100. Later, Pete Carroll claimed that most of the tiny run of this first edition were so numbered. The only difference I remember between that edition and the much better-know second (red cover) edition was the bit on Anarchy which was left out of the red edition.

But that wasn’t the only magical current I was interested in. There was also the work Mike’s group was doing in Southampton. Their magical ‘lodge’ was called Phoenix Light and they used clairvoyance to establish ‘Inner Planes Contacts’, powerful spirits of initiation. This style of working was almost the opposite of the pragmatic, earthy style of Chaos Magic. The scepticism of Pete Carroll’s Liber Null and Ray Sherwin’s Book of Results naturally appealed to me, but I knew it was not the whole story.

A valued few of my teenage acid experiences had given me a couple of core intuitions about the deepest levels of inner experience which were hard to express but utterly compelling in their certitude. The Chaos Magic of that era had no language to discuss such matters. But it was still the best game in town.

TALES OF MAGIC 6: Chaos Magic and everything else

Chaos Magic first took off in Yorkshire. This success had two main drivers: the hospitality of Ray Sherwin in East Morton, a village just outside Bradford, and the existence of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Leeds, who distributed Liber Null and The Book of Results. Things really started moving when they started hosting coffee mornings on Saturdays.

Never underestimate the power of the right kind of soiree to nurture new ideas. The SA coffee mornings were an astonishingly powerful nexus of contacts. People who grew up in the online world don’t realise how precious such things were. The shop was just a few minutes’ walk from where I was living at the time, in a house full of crazy young magical experimentalists like myself.

You walked into a tiny one-storey shop unit that looked like it had survived a number of urban renewals. You paid your money (into an honesty box) and poured water from the kettle into a paper cup with instant coffee and dried milk in it. The décor was unrelieved black. This had been the SA’s main shop unit before it moved into the slightly more impressive premises next door.

Dave Lee can be contacted via his website Chaotopia

His recent book Life Force can be obtained from most internet bookshops